Melvin praises Donaldson's consistency after slow start

Melvin praises Donaldson's consistency after slow start

OAKLAND -- Josh Donaldson had just three hits in his first 25 at-bats this season, a slow start that has quickly been trumped by a consistent offensive effort.

Oakland's third baseman notched his second four-hit game of the season on Tuesday night, and he entered Wednesday's matinee with the Rangers batting .315, thanks to a 30-for-80 (.375) showing over his last 22 games.

In that time, Donaldson posted 10 doubles, three home runs and 17 RBIs, along with 13 walks to up his on-base percentage to .387. Last year, through 75 games with the A's, it was .289.

"He's been nothing short of terrific," said manager Bob Melvin. "Really, other than maybe the first week of the season when he started out a bit slow, he's been as consistent of a guy as we've had.

"He's also playing great defense. He's having a heck of a year and really making a name for himself as a big-time everyday third baseman. Granted, you have to continue that through the course of the season, but he's been as consistent as anyone has we had."

Donaldson's 14 doubles -- he had 16 all of last season -- are tied for third in the American League, and he also ranks fifth in extra-base hits with 20. He tallied two doubles Tuesday, his first a routine hit to center field that he aggressively stretched into a two-bagger.

"You know he's always going to err on the side of aggression," Melvin said. "He's a competitor, and it shows up on plays like that. He really wants to take the extra base and get into scoring position."

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.